• thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura;
  • registry;
  • ADAMTS 13;
  • IgG antibodies


Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is an acute, rare, life-threatening disorder. This report presents the South East (SE) England registry for TTP, from April 2002 to December 2006, which included 176 patients and 236 acute episodes; 75% of patients were female and 25% were male, overall median age at presentation was 42 years. Mortality was 8·5%, most cases died before treatment was instigated. The main ethnic groups were Caucasian (64%) and Afro Caribbean (27%). Seventy-seven percent of cases were idiopathic, 5% were congenital and the remaining cases had a defined precipitant. Neurological features were the most prevalent, but cardiac involvement accounted for 42% of presenting features. The overall median number of plasma exchanges (PEXs) to remission was 15; between April 2002 and December 2003, the median number of PEXs was 19 and it was 12 between January 2004 and December 2006 (P < 0·0001). In the latter period, adjuvant therapies were reduced, but Rituximab was increased. ADAMTS 13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13) activity was <10% in 74% and 95% of these cases had positive IgG antibodies to ADAMTS 13. Renal impairment and delayed normalisation of platelet count were the main differences between idiopathic and secondary TTP.